PARTNERS Connected Health Symposium to Merge with PCHAlliance Connected Health Conference in 2017

screen-shot-2016-10-20-at-9-45-49-pmThe Connected Health Symposium started off with a big announcement by founder, Joe Kvedar, MD, Vice President, Connected Health at Partners HealthCare. During his keynote, Kvedar announced that Partners Connected Health and the Personal Connected Health Alliance have formed a new partnership to improve health outcomes by accelerating the adoption of personal connected health and establishing the singular leadership event focused on the future of technology-enabled health and wellness. As part of this collaboration, they will merge the Partners Connected Health Symposium and the Connected Health Conference starting next year, creating the premier event in the field.

Beginning in 2017, the Partners Connected Health Symposium and the PCHAlliance Connected Health Conference (formerly the mHealth Summit) will combine to create the largest event dedicated to digital and connected health. The event will be hosted by PCHAlliance with Partners Connected Health serving as the Organizing Partner, under the banner of the Connected Health Conference.

Joseph C. Kvedar will serve as Program Chair for the newly combined event, and Senior Advisor to PCHAlliance. He has also joined the PCHAlliance Board of Directors.

Disruptive Women in Healthcare – Boston Strong Panel

screen-shot-2016-10-20-at-9-45-14-pmOne of the sessions I was most looking forward to was the Disruptive Women in Healthcare panel discussion. It did not disappoint. The panelists included Robin Strongin (Moderator), President & CEO of Amplify Public Affairs and founder of the Disruptive Women in Health Care Blog; Ami Bhatt, MD, FACC, director of the Adult Congenital Heart Disease Center at MGH and an active clinical cardiologist, investigator and educator; Glenna Crooks, PhD, Founder of SageLife, LLC; Naomi Fried, PhD, thought leader in healthcare innovation and digital health; Lisa Gualtieri, PhD, ScM, assistant professor at Tufts University School of Medicine in the Department of Public Health and Community Medicine and is Director of the certificate program in Digital Health Communication; Kathy McGroddy Goetz, PhD, Vice President of Partnerships & Solutions for IBM Watson Health; Mandira Singh, director at athenahealth where she runs the company’s More Disruption Please program including the MDP Network and Marketplace.

This panel was one of my favorite sessions of the day. I’m grateful to all of the panelists for sharing their stories and insights.

Best Presentation of the Day: Wearable Sensors Expand Human Potential by Lauren Costantini, PhD (Keynote)

costantini_lauren_cvent_editedDr. Costantini is CEO of Prima-Temp, a company revolutionizing wireless, continuous temperature sensing. Prima-Temp’s first product continuously tracks a woman’s body temperature, and sends an alert to her smartphone when she is most fertile. Dr. Costantini has a PhD in Neuroscience and was formerly on the faculty of Harvard Medical School.

Dr. Costantini is an amazing presenter. The substance of her talk was right on point. But, as someone who presents at lots of conferences, it was here ability as a presenter that most impressed me. She is poised, articulate, incredibly smart and just an overall strong communicator. I felt like I was watching a well produced Tedx Talk. In fact, she has done a Tedx Talk. If you’re interested, you can check it out below.

Connecting with the Team from RecycleHealth

In the past I’ve written posts about RecycleHealth, an organization started by my friend, Lisa Gualtieri. The team at RecycleHealth gathers wearables from people who upgrade to newer models or just stop using them, and donates them to fitness studies involving underserved populations. I was so excited to connect with Lisa and her team in the exhibit hall. What a great group! And Lisa is a rock star in the world of digital health communication.


Meeting Joe Kvedar, MD, Connected Health Founder

screen-shot-2016-10-20-at-10-20-06-pmA week ago I wrote a review of Joe Kvedar’s book, The Internet of Healthy Things. I loved the book and plan to give copies to all of my clients and healthcare marketing friends. So, I was excited when I got the chance to meet Joe in person and have him sign my book. Between signing books he was trying to take a few bites of a Lobster Roll. Yes, we had Lobster Rolls for lunch, another highlight of the day!

Joe also announced that he and his collaborators have a new book coming out in 2017. The book will be titled, The New Mobile Age.

In summary, those were some of the highlights from Day One of the 2016 Connected Health Symposium. There’s really no way to capture this conference in a blog post. Attending the conference and interacting with attendees and speakers is truly a remarkable experience. I am on content overload. If you’ve never been to this event, I strongly recommend you put it on your calendar for next year! And by the way, people are dressed smartly at this conference. Lots of suits and business attire. For me, that was unexpected but welcome.



screen-shot-2016-10-20-at-8-26-23-pmToday I attended the first day of the Connected Health Symposium at the Seaport World Trade Center in Boston. It was an incredible day! Tomorrow should be equally amazing.

According to Symplur, Day One at the 2016 Connected Health Symposium was quite active on Twitter. There were 471 unique individuals Tweeting using the official #cHealth16 hashtag. They generated 1,736 Tweets that represent a potential 10,324,909 impressions. Not a bad day!

Below you will find additional analytics provided by Symplur, including data on the leading influencers on Twitter. Influencers are segmented by number of Tweets, number of potential impressions, and number of mentions. These influencers would be great people to follow if you have an interest in connected health, digital health and/or digital health technology. There’s also a snap shot of Tweet volume throughout the day. Enjoy the analytics and keep Tweeting! (click on an image to enlarge)




Frank Leone, NAOHP Founder

Frank Leone, NAOHP Founder

My presentation today at the National Association of Occupational Health Professionals (NAOHP) Annual Conference is special for a couple of reasons. First, it is the organization’s 30th anniversary. Their first conference was held 30 years ago at Boston’s Westin Copley Place Hotel. Fittingly, this year’s conference has returned to Boston. The second reason this speaking engagement will be special is that I have the honor of presenting with the organization’s founder, Frank Leone. Together, we will lead a sales and marketing workshop for NAOHP’s membership. Frank is an icon in the field of Occupational Health. To share the stage with him is a dream come true. I fully expect to do a lot of learning during our workshop! This will be Frank’s moment and I’ll be his sidekick, happily.

screen-shot-2016-10-18-at-7-30-49-pmIf you aren’t familiar with the NAOHP conference, it is an amazing professional development opportunity intended for program directors and clinic managers, medical directors, staff physicians, nurses and other clinicians; senior health system executives, sales and marketing professionals; and support staff. Hospital-affiliated occupational health programs, freestanding clinics and multi-specialty practices are always represented – as are consultants, employers, insurers, and third party administrators. I had the honor of presenting at their 2015 conference in Chicago. It was a great experience.

Here’s the abstract for our presentation. Look for my Tweets while Frank shares his wisdom!


screen-shot-2016-10-16-at-6-07-03-pmIn preparation for attending the Connected Health Symposium in Boston later this week, I’ve been reading The Internet of Healthy Things by Joseph Kvedar, MD. To give you a sense of my reaction to the book, I plan to send all of my healthcare marketing friends and clients copies as holiday gifts. That’s how important I believe it is. Kvedar paints a picture of the way healthcare can be – and the way it should be.

screen-shot-2016-10-16-at-6-23-43-pmFor me, what is most impressive about this book and the thinking it contains, is the realism that Kvedar brings to the discussion of innovation. He seems to clearly understand that innovation is only helpful if it takes into account the realities of human behavior. His notion of “Connected Health” is on the money and a concept that more of us should embrace.

Kvedar started with a very basic understanding of the opportunity for technology to impact health and healthcare delivery.

I did, however, recognize the need for technologies that could deliver health in a manner independent of time and place. And I know that healthcare should be available to people in the context of their everyday lives and that implementation of care in this manner would improve both quality and efficiency. (p. 5, The Internet of Healthy Things)

Note the similarity in the ways successful marketing and successful healthcare are delivered! Both are at their best when they are delivered within the context of the individual’s everyday life. In the end, it is always about the people we’re trying to reach, not about what’s easiest for us! If we want people to engage in healthy activities, we need to make it easy and convenient for them. It needs to fit within their daily routine.

The Internet of Healthy Things shines a bright light on the promise of digital health. It’s interesting to read about Kvedar’s vision while realizing that we live in a healthcare environment where most people still cannot make an appointment with their physician online. The fact that we have a lot of ground to make up does not in any diminish the promise of Connected Health.

The truth is, as Kvedar points out (to his credit), healthcare organizations and providers have behaved using a “seller’s market” approach. (p. 77) You know the mindset: “You need us more than we need you.” Therefore, we have structured the delivery of care and your entire experience to accommodate our needs – not yours. (My words, not Kvedar’s.)  I’m less generous than Kvedar and look at this as an old narcissistic bent in medicine and healthcare. “You do it on our terms.” This approach does not fly with the new generations of healthcare consumers. They know better. They’ve experienced good customers service and know what it looks like. These are the people who are clamoring for virtual appointments, online appointment setting, and the ability to communicate with providers via email or text.

If you work in digital health or healthcare marketing, this book is a must read. I know that’s cliché to say, but it is absolutely how I feel. You should read this book, as should the other leaders in your organization. If you know me, don’t be surprised if you get a copy in the mail this December!

In closing, here’s a 10-minute video where Joe Kvedar, MD, speaks with Healthcare IT News about the advancements in digital health technology (2015 HIMSS Connected Health Conference).

Earlier this week I received notification that the deadline for entries in the 2016 Cancer Awareness Advertising Awards is rapidly approaching. The early deadline is October 31, 2016 and the late deadline is November 18, 2016. For more information about the awards, go to www.caaawards.com.


The Donut Debacle

This is a cautionary tale about the risk of bringing donuts to people who work in a healthcare facility.


In Portland, Maine there is a donut company that is famous for making potato donuts. It is called The Holy Donut and is one of my favorite places to visit when I’m in town. You see, my interest in food extends beyond pizza!

Two weeks ago I was in Portland visiting a client and I thought it would be a special treat for me to bring them a half dozen donuts from The Holy Donut. That morning I walked seven blocks from my hotel to the donut shop and picked out a half dozen (plus one for me) to take to my client. I selected two Triple Berry, two Pomegranate and two Apple Cider (my favorite). These were all donuts with a fresh theme! And they were made with Maine potatoes. What’s not to like?

donut-caseThe donuts come in a special carrying case. I proudly and excitedly left the donut shop carrying my small case of donuts. They are unusually heavy donuts. My guess is that’s due to the mashed potatoes in the batter. I walked back to my hotel, making a stop at Starbucks to get a latte. The staff at Starbucks tried to separate me from my stash of donuts, but they were not successful.

Once back at my hotel I packed up and headed to my client’s office which is located in a medical office building. I arrived early and waited in the lobby. After a few minutes, my client appeared and ushered me back to the conference room. I could see the recognition and excitement in her eyes when she spied the Holy Donut logo on the carrying case! This was turning into a great day.

open-donut-caseAs we rounded the corner and headed toward the conference room, the bottom of the donut case gave out, and donuts began rolling down the hallway. I kid you not. It all happened in slow motion. Donuts were slowly rolling in all directions. My heart was broken. One passerby stopped to console me: “Remember the five second rule.” I let her know that I didn’t think that applied to donuts rolling on the floor of a medical office building. But I appreciated her support. In the end, the donuts went in the trash and we all avoided the inevitable weight gain associated with consuming those delectable treats. It was for the best, or so I tell myself.

Let this be a lesson to all of us: there is no place for donuts in a medical/healthcare environment – when taking donuts into a healthcare environment, support the bottom of the box!

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